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Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2016

Alexandra L. Ferrentino, Meghan L. Maliga, Richard A. Bernardi and Susan M. Bosco

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications…

Abstract

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications in business-ethics and accounting’s top-40 journals this study considers research in eight accounting-ethics and public-interest journals, as well as, 34 business-ethics journals. We analyzed the contents of our 42 journals for the 25-year period between 1991 through 2015. This research documents the continued growth (Bernardi & Bean, 2007) of accounting-ethics research in both accounting-ethics and business-ethics journals. We provide data on the top-10 ethics authors in each doctoral year group, the top-50 ethics authors over the most recent 10, 20, and 25 years, and a distribution among ethics scholars for these periods. For the 25-year timeframe, our data indicate that only 665 (274) of the 5,125 accounting PhDs/DBAs (13.0% and 5.4% respectively) in Canada and the United States had authored or co-authored one (more than one) ethics article.

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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-973-2

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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-239-9

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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-239-9

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 October 2017

Marianne Bradford, Julia B. Earp and Paul F. Williams

The purpose of this paper is to determine what types of sustainability activities companies are reporting and whether persons external to the companies understand how…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine what types of sustainability activities companies are reporting and whether persons external to the companies understand how those reported activities correspond to the companies’ narratives about sustainability. That is to ascertain how people interpret the meaning of the activities included in the sustainability reports.

Design/methodology/approach

From a sample of sustainability reports prepared by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, the authors identified the distinct activities reported. The authors prepared a survey comprised of these activities and asked a sample of people knowledgeable about business and investing to evaluate each activity on the extent to which they are relevant to sustainability performance. The responses were then factor analyzed to identify the most important dimensions of sustainability these persons employed to relate the activities to sustainability.

Findings

The dimensions employed by the subjects differed in some significant ways from those dimensions used to construct the GRI format. Subjects evaluated sustainability efforts as primarily efforts of being a good citizen with sustainability an end in itself rather than as constraint to be respected in achieving profitability goals.

Research limitations/implications

The study is a first attempt so results are preliminary, i.e. suggestive but not definitive. Though preliminary an intriguing implication is that closure on a sustainability reporting structure would be premature. More effort needs to be devoted to provide more clarity on the concept of corporate sustainability and what its implications are for corporate behavior.

Practical implications

Given the results that sustainability be regarded as a corporate end, what is the role of the corporation in society seems still to be disputatious. Sustainability may not be something achievable without changes in corporate law.

Originality/value

The study is an early attempt to assess the potential alternative narratives about corporate sustainability. Its value lies in providing insights into the age-old question of what should be the role of the corporation in a free society.

Details

Journal of Capital Markets Studies, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-4774

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Book part
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Alan Reinstein, Mohamed E. Bayou, Paul F. Williams and Michael M. Grayson

Compare and contrast how the accounting, organizational behavior and other literatures analyze sunk costs. Sunk costs form a key part of the decision-making component of…

Abstract

Purpose

Compare and contrast how the accounting, organizational behavior and other literatures analyze sunk costs. Sunk costs form a key part of the decision-making component of the management accounting literature, which generally include previously incurred and unrecoverable costs. Management accountants believe, since current or future actions cannot change sunk costs, decision makers should ignore them. Thus, ongoing fixed costs or previously incurred sunk costs, while relevant for matters of accountability such as costing, income determination, and performance evaluation are irrelevant for most short- and long-term decisions. However, the organizational behavior literature indicates that sunk costs affect decision makers’ actions – especially their emotional attachments to the related project and the asymmetry of attitudes regarding the recognizing of losses and gains. Called the “sunk cost effect” or “sunk cost fallacy,” this conflict in sunk costs’ underlying nature reflects one element of incoherence in contemporary accounting discourse. We discuss this sunk cost conflict from an accounting and a philosophical perspective to denote some ambiguities that decision usefulness and accountability introduces into accounting discourse.

Methodology/approach

Review, summarize and analyze the above literatures

Findings

Managerial accountants can apply many lessons from the various literature sources.

Originality/value

We also show how differing opinions on how to treat sunk costs impact a firm’s decision-making process both economically and socially.

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Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-530-6

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Book part
Publication date: 20 January 2010

Paul F. Williams

Most teaching and research in accounting ethics focuses on individuals. The presumption, therefore, is that the locus of professional ethics is the individual…

Abstract

Most teaching and research in accounting ethics focuses on individuals. The presumption, therefore, is that the locus of professional ethics is the individual practitioner. This essay presents an argument for considering the profession itself as a significant locus for understanding professional ethics in accounting. Through a simple example employing the most basic thing we teach in the first accounting course, an illustration is provided that accounting techniques are rife with unexamined value judgments. Thus, accounting is itself a fundamentally ethical discourse for which the entire profession, not just individual practitioners, is responsible.

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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-722-6

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Alan Reinstein, Natalie Tatiana Churyk, Eileen Z. Taylor and Paul F. Williams

Despite formal ethics education and ethics-related continuing professional education (CPE) requirements, professional accountants continue to play a central role in…

Abstract

Despite formal ethics education and ethics-related continuing professional education (CPE) requirements, professional accountants continue to play a central role in enabling corporations to make unethical business decisions and take unethical business actions. Several jurisdictions in the United States require ethics education for licensure, but often the focus is on memorizing rules and regulations, rather than on providing tools to improve the moral practice of professionals and to help them resolve ethical dilemmas. The authors analyzed recent state Certified Public Accountant (CPA) society course offerings and found much more emphasis on memorization than on ethical reasoning to satisfy State CPA CPE requirements. To improve accountants’ ethical awareness and behavior, CPE providers should stress ethical reasoning rather than merely memorizing rules. Such changes will make future and present accountants and auditors more ethically aware, and thus more likely to improve their ethical decision-making. Nonetheless, the authors suggest that effective ethics education and training should start in the classroom with help from departmental advisory councils. Ethics courses offered in accounting programs as well as those offered by CPE providers can leverage the experience of members of advisory councils to create programs that resonate with professionals and foster lifelong ethical awareness and ethical reasoning skills.

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Book part
Publication date: 5 August 2005

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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-239-9

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

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Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-394-5

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2003

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Leadership in International Business Education and Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-224-5

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